Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Sunday March 31, 2013
Purple Martins Have Arrived
Spring is officially here, as our birds have been coming in steadily for the season. The Purple Martin houses have been up for a while now, and Tuesday I saw my first martin.
The male Belted Kingfisher wanted to squeeze out one more chilly day on Tuesday, so that was another bonus, along with a Canvasback that wanted to visit, too.
Great White Pelicans
The Great White Pelicans were around the entire winter and made an appearance on the lake every couple of weeks or so, even went it was in the teens. The most that showed up during the winter were three at one time, and there was even a male in breeding plumage at one point. It is very unusual for pelicans to be around all year in Oklahoma.
Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs
The Greater Yellowlegs has been here off-and-on since Wednesday, and the Lesser Yellowlegs have also been around this week. I even managed to get the both of them together in one picture, so I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
On Tuesday, I was told that one of the Bald Eagles had been fishing at Boomer Lake, caught him or herself a fish, and ate it on a small island that we have had since the water level has been so low. I was able to get a time when this happened, so I saw the eagle for myself Thursday.
This was the day that all the birds were in complete and utter fear, except for the two Great White Pelicans. These birds are fearless, as it is impossible for a Bald Eagle to pick them up and carry them off. Not only that, our eagles seem to be interested in fish, which are quite plentiful in Boomer Lake. We have crappie, channel cats, and sunfish galore. So for those fisherman that want a good fight, do come to the lake and try your luck.
Anyway, the gulls were all in the air screaming for their lives, the poor little American Coots were along the shore, which is rare for them, and the Mallards were nowhere in the area. There were a couple of Canada Geese in the area, but then again, they are much too large for an eagle to fly off holding onto in the claws. There were also no songbirds in sight. At first, I thought that perhaps our area Red-shouldered Hawk was in the area, but when I passed by Gull Island, there was the big bird. At first I didn’t see it, but since the gulls and coots were still carrying on, I decided to take a better look.
Naturally, I had to take full advantage of this situation, and got several wonderful shots, including more than one in the air. So, do thank the eagle for the appearance, as he or she was very patient, especially with the group that was lined up on the west side of the lake.
Goose Island Rocks the House Down
Some of our wonderful old friends also gave some excellent photo opportunities, too, on other days, so I was also thankful for that.
Goose Island has been rather noisy as time goes by, and there have been a number of fights for territory, as well as females that have been claimed already. Many of the errors being made over here are by first year adults, but it doesn’t matter a bit to our seasoned group. A young male will not be cut any slack, even if he doesn’t know any better. He will soon learn the ways of the world.
Fun for One and All!
I also managed to meet a couple of dogs having a good time, as well as their people. One of the dogs was quite exuberant, and felt like he should be going with me, but sometimes these things happen. I got a little wet from this yesterday, but I dried off quickly. All in all, it was a fun time, and the birds didn’t care either one way or the other.
Keep your head in the clouds and your eyes on the ground until next week. Happy birding!
One Year Ago
- Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Saturday March 31, 2012
This is an ongoing bird watching column at Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater, OK. For some, it will be an introduction to birds, for others, it will be a little bit about birds in this part of the country.